Sunday, April 24, 2011

Harper's Baptism, Take Two

Yes, she was baptized as a baby, but that was more of a decision we made on her behalf. Infant baptism doesn't hold any "magic" power. It was a public profession of OUR faith. It was during Harper's infant baptism that we communicated our commitment to introduce Harper to Jesus.

Ten years later and Harper shares with us that back when she was in 2nd grade she asked Jesus to be her Saviour.

She is not very vocal or overtly emotionally expressive when it comes to her faith in Christ, so when the opportunity to be baptized on Easter presented itself, we sat down to talk with her about making a public profession of her faith.

We wanted to make sure that if she did decide to get baptized it wasn't because she thought WE thought she should or because it would please her Grandparents or friends. It needed to be her decision and hers alone. So we talked about her "story", which went back to the years when she struggled with social anxiety. A very touching part of this story included the influence of our neighbor, Martha, who has made a huge impression on Harper - something we hadn't realized until we sat to chat about her faith.

After much consideration, she decided to be baptized, and we felt that she was ready to do so based on how she expressed herself to us.

George would already be up helping for the ceremony, so I asked Harper if she'd like me and her brother to join her as well.


We could tell she didn't want this to be a drama-filled event. She didn't want to be surrounded by us, which would only increase the attention. It was very "matter of fact" for her. A next step.

We followed her lead - didn't make a huge deal, no gift, no fawning over her. Nothing that would serve as a means of "influencing" her.

When her name was called, she bounced up there, hopped in, smiled, and then, dunk! This, from a girl who used to struggle and hesitate to do anything in front of crowds.

Yes, I cried. Am I proud? That's an interesting question. I am not as much proud as I am filled with joy that she has chosen to profess her young faith by this means. When folks say, "You done good, Mom!" I cringe. Yes, I pray for her, and we do our best to be in the Word and address daily issues from a Christian perspective, but strip all that away and really it's just her and Jesus. Strip that back even more and you hit a bigger truth.

It's not about us.

It's not about Harper.

It's ALL about Jesus.

So, I'm proud of Him. For dying. And then conquering death. So that Harper may live.

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